Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2016 Most Anticipated - And I Darken

The next selection for my 2016 Most Anticipated event is one that made me immediately want to get my hands on it after reading the synopsis. This book sounds absolutely incredible, and promises to be dark and deadly!

This Goodreads synopsis will immediately suck you in because it hits everything. Fantastic sounding characters, an incredible setting, action, romance, all wrapped in the most tantalizing of teases (and wrapped in very pretty packaging, too).
NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point. 
I mean... the main character is being called a female Vlad the Impaler. My curiosity is immediately piqued. I cannot wait to see what Kiersten does with this character and I hope she's as wonderfully complex as I am anticipating her to be.

Kiersten was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book. She showcases her humour (that drink... PERFECT), and definitely teases some fantastic things about And I Darken.

1 Describe And I Darken using only three words.

Buy . . . this . . . book? I kid, I kid. Actually, the title is the perfect three word descriptor. Only maybe "And we darken," for the two main characters.

2 If someone were to make a signature drink in honour of your book, what might be included?

The blood of your enemies, the tears of your broken dreams, the poison of your ambitions, and some club soda for that nice, bubbly touch.

3 Let us in on one secret about one of your characters, or the world they inhabit.

The two main characters, Lada and Radu, are sister and brother that seem like they couldn't be more different. But their hearts end up pointing in the same direction . . . which might end up breaking both of them.

4 Vlad the Impaler is mentioned as inspiring this novel, and the main character in particular. What about his story resonated with you and made you want to write this one?

Vlad is a fascinating historical figure. In a very brutal age, he still managed to be notorious. He engaged in guerrilla warfare, germ warfare, scorched earth tactics, you name it. I often wondered what it must have taken for him to get to the point where he could justify atrocities in the name of his country (and, at times, against his country for what he saw as its own good). When I decided to make him a her, everything fell into place. Even today in order to compete on the same level, women have to be smarter, work harder, be better than everyone around them. Any perceived weakness is immediately attributed to gender. So making Vlad into Lada upped the stakes. (Stake puns will never get old when talking about a series about Lada the Impaler. You've been warned.) It also shifted the dynamic between Lada and the brilliant young sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in some very fun, juicy ways...

5 If you could travel to anywhere, in any time period, when and where would you want travel?

I'd love to go to Istanbul during the height of the Ottoman Empire. The fountains, the palaces, the sights and smells and sounds--I can just imagine what it must have been like. (Literally, I have to imagine it, I'm contractually obligated right now.)

6 What 2016 release are you most anticipating?

My editor told me I was required to say my own. And that's true! I'm so excited for And I Darken to be out in the world. But aside from that, I can't wait for The Raven King, the finale to Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle. I also love The Cresswell Plot, by Eliza Wass, an intense family drama about faith and blood, and As I Descended, by Robin Talley, a boarding school retelling of Macbeth.

7. If not too spoilery, can you share the first line of And I Darken

Vlad Dracul's heavy brow descended like a storm when the doctor informed him that his wife had given birth to a girl.

I am also excited about As I Descended (and it was one of my previous picks for this event this year), and this interview has only increased my need to read this book. The characters, especially Lada sound so fascinating and everything she mentions about how changing the character's gender changed everything makes me really curious to see what direction she'll take the story (the hints of some sexy romance also has me really excited, too).

And I Darken  releases June 28, 2016 and can be pre-ordered right now from any retailer.

You can also follow Kiersten on Twitter, visit her official website, and find out more about her books on the publisher website.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out the next book that made this year's list!

This novel twists true historical events and characters. Why do you think history continues to inspire years later? What draws us to it? Let me know what you think in the comments.

1 comment:

I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

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